Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts spoke on a variety of topics when interviewed by AM570 L.A. Sports. Roberts joined the Petros and Money Show on Friday to talk about the team as they are 25 percent through the season. He also discussed bullpen problems, injuries and the production from players.
The Dodgers were dealt another heartbreaking loss on Saturday as the Dodger fell to the Padres 3-2 on a walkoff walk. Despite a strong performance from Alex Wood and Trayce Thompson the Dodgers dropped to third place in the NL West.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) May 22, 2016
With the first quarter of the 2016 MLB season in the books, Roberts remains confident the Dodgers will hit their stride.
“I think at the end of the day we’re going to be right there in the mix and expect to win this division again,” Roberts tells the Petros and Money Show.
From the fans perspective it’s easier said than done, especially when looking at the glaring problems coming from the bullpen. One hot topic was the lack of consistent production from Chris Hatcher. Going into the season he was seen as the Dodgers 8th inning guy, yet so far this year he has a 6.35 ERA and 14Ks.
“Hatcher had a great second half and pitched well in the postseason last year for the Dodgers, so he earned that right [to be the 8th inning guy]. I think we as an organization still believe in him.”
Pitcher Joe Blanton was the Dodgers long relief guy initially, but things have changed and Roberts continues to believe they have the right guy in place to succeed.
“Hatch is a guy we have to keep riding out there, and put him in a position where he can have success,” said Roberts.
The bullpen isn’t the only problem for the Dodgers. Offensively multiple players find themselves in slumps. Roberts says he has to approach each player differently and have “a lot of conversations” with players and hitting coaches.
“It might not translate, but guys are working their tail off in the cage, and early work … it’s not one of those things in baseball where you can yell at an offensive group, kick and scream, and now their going to perform.”
Roberts even took on the approach of giving guys days off in an attempt to recharge them and allow them to clear their minds. Still he is aware that with the way things are going winning a championship won’t be easy.
“You look at our roster, there are certain guys that if we want to win a championship these guys need to be good.”
Although, Roberts didn’t go into specifics, I think it’s safe to say he is not referring to Clayton Kershaw.